Bison Tales blog moderator David Repka of Bison Financial Group in St. Petersburg, FL was selected by real estate master marketer Cody Sperber as one of the “Top 75 Real Estate People to Connect with on LinkedIn”.

To connect with David on LinkedIn visit his profile at: www.linkedin.com/in/davidrepka

The entire list can be downloaded from the box.net widget on this site.

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Sunshine, nice weather, bargain prices on real estate and no state tax help Florida continue to attract the affluent from around the globe. Collier County (Naples) Florida tops with list with Tampa Bay well represented by Manatee County & Sarasota County.

Affluent continue to move to Florida

View full story at Forbes.com

View slide show from Forbes.com.

I have been asked to moderate a panel at the upcoming Crittenden Commercial Real Estate Finance Conference in Atlanta, GA. The topic:

Reinvention: Adaptation = Survival

We will be discussing the fact that commercial real estate transaction volume is down 85-99% and in order to survive in this new economy we need to be able to think “outside the box” and adapt to the new realities of the marketplace. We will be discussing areas of growth for the next 36 months, ideas on retooling your skill set and how “survival” is the new “good”.

The conference will be held at the JW Marriott in Buckhead October 24-26. Attendees include commercial real estate investors, developers, financiers, consultants, brokers, attorneys and vendors to the industry. Past conferences I have attended ranged from 200-300 people.

If you are selected to the panel you will be able to attend the conference for free and bring a guest (each seat is sold for $695).

Please send an e-mail to dave@bisonfinancial.com with your inspiring story of adaptation and survival.

Just as commercial real estate is starting to recover… Congress plans to drive a stake through its heart and raise income taxes from 15% capital gains rate to 35% ordinary income rate. Tell your U.S. Senators about the unintended consequences associated with the carried interest proposal.  Please call 202-224-3121 and ask to be connected to your Senators’ offices.  Visit http://lac.icsc.org/icsc/dbq/officials/ to look up your Senators.

Key Points:

  • The tax increase on carried interest proposed in the tax extenders package will have serious unintended consequences to local communities.
  • This proposal would be the largest tax increase on real estate since the 1986 Tax Reform Act.
  • This tax increase is likely to hurt economic redevelopment and job creation in our most economically deprived communities because it captures real estate development.
  • While the original target was private equity and hedge fund managers, this proposal will disproportionately impact the real estate industry because it will increase the tax on the general partner’s share of profits in a real estate partnership.
  • Unlike hedge fund and private equity firms, carried interest in real estate deals is not simply compensation for services.  Rather, it is the return for taking on the tremendous risks and liabilities associated with real estate development projects, such as environmental concerns, lawsuits, operational shortfalls, construction delays and loan guaranties.
  • This potential tax increase does not recognize the entrepreneurial risk and personal guarantees that the managing partner offers on behalf of the real estate partnership.
  • Quite simply, if this legislation is enacted, the managing partner’s incentive to take-on the risk is greatly diminished.  Projects with brownfield, mixed-use, or low income components will be most impacted by the carried interest proposal because they are the most risky.
  • This tax increase will also hit small to medium size developers the hardest.  These developers are already struggling with the current credit crisis, and this proposal will further limit available capital in the real estate market.
  • With the commercial real estate industry under serious strain due to current economic conditions, raising this carried interest tax on real estate will not only threaten economic development projects, but it will also jeopardize the related jobs that those projects create.

I am back from moderating an all-star panel discussion at the Apartment Finance Today Conference in Fort Lauderdale, FL.

Our topic: “Small but Mighty: Finding the Best Small-Balance Apartment Loan” was well received by a full house of real estate investors and developers.  As sources of capital are becoming harder to find our panel of industry veterans provided input and guidance on why this is the greatest opportunity to acquire multi-family properties in a generation. Our panel focused on discussing the financing options for real estate investors that need up to $5 million to buy, build or renovate rental apartment properties.

We tackled the problems facing the industry head-on and shared ideas on how investors can find the best small loans at the most generous rates and terms. Underwriting criteria for portfolio lenders such as banks, insurance companies and private lenders was contrasted with Agency lenders such as Fannie, Freddie and FHA. Contrary to the myths perpetuated by the mass media there is still abundant capital available to owners, developers and investors focused on multi-family housing. This session hammered home the fact that long term, fixed rate loans with interest rates starting in the 4-5% range can still be achieved.

Panel included:

Jerry Anderson
Senior Vice President, Alliant Capital

Rick Wolf
Senior Managing Director, Greystone Servicing Corp

Charles Ostroff
Chief Underwriter, Arbor Commercial Mortgage

Michael McCleary
Associate Director, Marcus & Millichap Capital Corporation

Our presentation notes can be downloaded from the box.net widget on the right hand side of this screen or will be automatically e-mailed to you by sending a note to SmallButMighty5mm@gmail.com

SBA has made some sweeping changes to their programs in an effort to stimulate lending to small business owners facing maturing commercial real estate loans and in need of working capital.

Please download a free six page guide titled “SBA_New lending initiative” from the box.net widget on this blog or by following this link.

D.C.-area developer Jeff Neal gives the Huffington Post Investigative Fund a tour of empty commercial properties just blocks from the Capitol. He says we were, “drunk on a binge of easy credit and the bartender (the market) took away the bottle (credit).”

BLOGGER COMMENT: Private equity groups are looking to double down. They are building massive cash war chests to acquire properties from banks and distressed sellers for a fraction of replacement cost. Should the government create a false bottom or allow the market to find the true bottom where transactions can take place to eliminate the “Zombie overhang” on the market?